Kansas defeats TCU, 64-59

  • 1:30 p.m., March 12, 2015
  • T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, MO

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ooh-la-Oubre: Freshman’s career-high 25 points lead Jayhawks past TCU, 64-59

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre III (12) goes up strong for two points against TCU's Karviar Shepard (14) during the Jayhawk’s 64-59 win over TCU Thursday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO.

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre III (12) goes up strong for two points against TCU's Karviar Shepard (14) during the Jayhawk’s 64-59 win over TCU Thursday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO.


— Kansas University freshman Kelly Oubre, Jr., couldn’t sit still in front of his Sprint Center locker room stall before his first postseason game as a collegian.

“He was in here running around. He was throwing Gatorade bottles up, trying to run and catch ‘em. He just had a lot of energy. I knew he had a lot of bounce today,” KU junior forward Jamari Traylor said after watching the 6-foot-7 wing carry the same enthusiasm into KU’s 64-59 Big 12 tournament quarterfinal win over TCU.

Oubre scored a career-high 25 points, including 15 of his team’s final 21 points over the last 11 1/2 minutes. He hit 15 of 19 free throws with six rebounds, three steals and two blocks in 34 minutes. His 15 free throw makes were the most ever by a KU player in a Big 12 tournament game, second most of any player in conference tourney history. Linas Kleiza of Missouri made 17 against Oklahoma in 2005. It was the most makes by a KU freshman in any game since Andrew Wiggins hit 15 at West Virginia last season.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Self, Oubre and Lucas on beating TCU without playing well

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, as well as players Kelly Oubre Jr. and Landen Lucas, discuss KU's win over TCU in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament, in Kansas City, Missouri. They say the Jayhawks advanced without playing very well.

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Box score

“I was there a lot. I called it my home I guess,” Oubre said of the free throw line.

His work on the offensive end helped make up for the loss of Perry Ellis, who missed his second straight game because of a sprained right knee. Coach Bill Self thinks Ellis likely will return to action today in a 6 p.m., semifinal versus Baylor.

“Perry is out. I had a chance to slide into his (power forward) spot today. I tried to take advantage of my opportunity and help my team get a victory,” Oubre said.

Oubre surpassed his previous career high of 23 points against Lafayette. His previous high in a Big 12 game was 19 points versus Oklahoma on Jan. 19 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Kelly and Landen pulled us through,” Self said. Sophomore forward Landen Lucas contributed 13 points, seven boards and three blocks in 24 minutes.

“Those two guys ... you end up counting on a freshman and a guy you thought maybe was your 11th, 12th man coming in the year to carry you in the Big 12 tournament. They did that. They played well today,” Self said.

Self was miffed that several players didn’t have the same enthusiasm as Oubre or Lucas. He benched Wayne Selden, Jr. (seven points, four turnovers, 25 minutes) in favor of Svi Mykhailiuk to start the second half.

“I was going to play Svi the entire second half if he got off to a good start,” Self said of Mykhailiuk, who had two points and two assists in 11 first-half minutes and played just four minutes the final half. “He got off to a rough start. Wayne made a basket or two which helped him. We need Selden and Brannen Greene (0-3 from three; now 0-14 over four games) to step up.”

And everybody to bring enthusiasm.

“It’s getting old,” Self said of the team not being ready to play with energy. “I think personality, body language, guys playing cool I think is contagious. That’s as quiet a building as you’ll ever have with Kansas playing. In large part we made it that way. We need our point guard (Frank Mason III, six points, five rebounds, three steals, two assists) to play with emotion, Wayne with emotion. We were emotionless today. Maybe because it’s the first time all year we’ve played on a Thursday. Hopefully on Friday we’ll play better,” Self added, smiling.

If not ... “we’ll go home,” Self said simply.

This was a day Oubre definitely stole the show and pretty much saved KU, which improved to 25-7.

“He was amazing. He was the only guy who could get in there and drive and make something happen for us. He had that thunderous dunk. He was great. Period,” KU’s Greene said.

Oubre accepted a pass on the wing and raced in for a two-handed slam with 1:09 left, giving KU a 61-57 lead.

“I wanted to step over him so I could dunk on him (defender),” Oubre said with a smile. “I was going to dunk regardless.”

He played a lot at the 4-spot with Ellis out.

“The lane opened up. When it opened up, I took the opportunity to get in there,” Oubre said. “Fouls happened to keep coming my way. It was great.”

Selden, who has been Oubre’s mentor this season, was especially proud of his pal’s effort.

“I said just, ‘Good game. Keep it going,’’’ Selden said of his postgame message to Oubre. “We don’t want any complacency right now. He’s playing really well and I’m proud of him.”

There’s not much chance of complacency with Oubre, who is regarded as a likely one-and-done player. This postseason could be his only one at KU.

“I love playing with Kansas across my chest. It’s a blessing,” he said.

About the only negative is he missed two threes on a day KU went 0-for-8. KU has not made a three in two of its last three games, going 0-for-15 versus West Virginia with a 5-for-15 thrown in between against Oklahoma.

“You could look at it glass half empty or full,” Oubre said. “We’ve been getting wins without hitting threes. What’s that tell you? When we start hitting, we’ll be lethal.”

More news and notes from Kansas vs. TCU at the Big 12 Tournament

By the Numbers: Kansas beats TCU 64-59 at Big 12 Tournament

By the Numbers: Kansas beats TCU 64-59 at Big 12 Tournament


Greg Lux 7 years, 9 months ago

My opinion is the "one and done" Oubre will be a two and done when the dust settles after the Madness is over.

Reggie Flenory 7 years, 9 months ago

I seriously doubt that especially since he is projected as a top 10 pick

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 9 months ago

Got to admit, I like the new unis. I was a doubter a couple of weeks ago, but I definitle had a change of heart today. Side profile the best, I think.

Tom Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

Good heavens. Those are among the most ridiculous in college basketball IMHO.

Thankfully, they don't affect how the guys play. But they're sure difficult to look at.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 9 months ago

I don't know why it's so hard to get these guys motivated to play TCU. They DO know that the Horned Frogs were responsible for one of the most humiliating upsets in Kansas basketball history, right? And it wasn't that long ago either. But then again KU is a lot more vulnerable w/o Perry Ellis or Cliff Alexander. Glad we got the win, but the poor play has got to change. It can. After all, when Kansas won the 2011 Big 12 Tournament, they struggled in the quarterfinal with Oklahoma State before handling its business in style against Colorado and Texas.

JD Roth 7 years, 9 months ago

TCU is vastly improved. You couldn't see that?

Walter Bridges 7 years, 9 months ago

They ARE improved but as stated above: "Self was miffed that several players didn't have the same enthusiasm as Oubre or Lucas.".

So apparently Bryce makes a good point and let's not forget, TCU finished 9th out of ten teams.

Jerry Collins 7 years, 9 months ago

Brianna, please have your prescription checked. It can be dangerous walking around with uncorrected vision.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 9 months ago

Oakville Oddities:

1] Sorry Brianna, even the TV commentators hinted at the uniforms.." they look like great swimwear"!!

2] "When the dust settles", Kelly will be collecting millions in an NBA camp this fall.

3] This team has yet to play a complete game to their maximum that a good thing or is that a bad thing???????

4] Landen Lucas may be the KU break-out player of the year looking at where we thought he'd be. Some people even suggested he should transfer.

5] The NCAA should just make Cliff sit out the rest of the season but reinstate him for next year...gosh he truly needs another year of college competition!!

6] If we play like this tomorrow night against Baylor, we will lose by 20!!

7] I am not sure how you subjectively evaluate the quality of a season but currently we have four seasons under Self where we have lost more games and several where we have not won 25. Since the ultimate bottom line is wins and losses, how can anyone possibly say this is Bill's worst or even least talented team.??

Come takes a special talent to overcome a lack of talent!!

Walter Bridges 7 years, 9 months ago

Good points, esp 2, 4 and 5 (though you're suggesting the NCAA do something sensible).

And solidly in the minority, I liked the unis also...

Adam James 7 years, 9 months ago

My only thoughts are that if Perry is not brace free when he plays we will be out in the 2nd Round as a #2 seed. I've never seen a high level player at 100% in the sport of basketball play with a knee brace. Regardless of what happens tomorrow, we need a healthy Perry and we can get to the elite 8

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 7 years, 9 months ago

“I said just, ‘Good game. Keep it going,’’’ Selden said of his postgame message to Oubre. “We don’t want any complacency right now. He’s playing really well and I’m proud of him.”

Is it just me or does this epitomize a complacent statement from selden?

Walter Bridges 7 years, 9 months ago

Not sure but I'm also not sure who should be mentoring who...

Steve Zimmerman 7 years, 9 months ago

Refs managed to kill the joy of the game again. What a joke. Luckily we didn't play that bad. Dunks from Lucas & Bre made the game a bit fun to watch.

Micky Baker 7 years, 9 months ago

I thought the officiating was pretty bad too.

JD Roth 7 years, 9 months ago

Listened to first half driving home from Hospital. Hard to listen to with all the fouls. Great comments from Greg Gurley. Watched second half. It is never pleasant watching a game when a foul is called on nine or ten straight possessions. C'mon let them play, if a rejection is all ball, leave the whistle alone.

Micky Baker 7 years, 9 months ago

We are going to have to play with more passion against Baylor for sure.

I did see some things that I liked. Svi with his vision and connecting for a few big assists. The kid is only 17! He might grow more physically as well.

I liked how Oubre stayed aggressive.

Mason made some outstanding defensive plays. Selden even had a few poke aways that led to a couple of steals. Lucas was physical at times which made him hard to defend until he was saddled with his 4th foul. Traylor as brought some energy.

There are some things that are troubling. Greene doesn't know when to bring it back out. They're going to guard him on the perimeter, and at times he has missed opportunities for assists that may have resulted in easy buckets or open jumpers. Some of our guys didn't make their free throws at crucial points. Sometimes we don't need to continue to the hole when we beat the perimeter defender. One dribble around the guy and then a jumper from 8 to 12 feet from our guards. There was a couple of times that our guys didn't communicate on defense. A couple of times, one or more of our defenders took their eyes off the ball which resulted in easy buckets for TCU. It doesn't matter who you play when you do that. One thing that we didn't do very well against TCU is that we didn't hedge the ball screen very well. That allowed some drives to the bucket that probably wouldn't happen with a good hedge.

But, We did win this game being short handed. It wasn't pretty and until we get another big with some length down low, it probably isn't going to be pretty(we need Zimmerman).

If OU get's a big lead on Iowa State, not sure Iowa State can come back late a second time. Though, I have Iowa State marked to advance as well as Kansas. None of these games were all that decisive the past two nights. That's an understatement. TCU wins by 2, loses by 5. Texas is the only one with a decisive win, and Iowa State had to have miracle to advance to the semis. Baylor and WVU battled for most of the game. The OU/OSU game wasn't decided until late in the game.

It's likely going to be two close games again on Friday. Any of these four teams that are left can win this tourney.

JD Roth 7 years, 9 months ago

If KU opens strong, hitting early three's, the crowd will roar and the passion will be there. If KU opens missing shots and turning it over, it will definitely be another grind it out game. KU needs to play enthused, come out hitting on all cylinders, and take it to Baylor. Rebound the basketball tonight.

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 9 months ago

I don't know why all of you are on here complaining of the fouls and officiating. You do realize that's how we are winning these games? It's a strategy. Drive the ball and score or try to get fouled. Occasionally you'll get blocked, but that with the territory. Coach self has said before that that is a strategy this team has embraced. It's not pretty but it has been effective for us. Oubre is practically automatic in doing this and, as long as he continues to hit his FTs, I say keep it up. What the hell else can we do?

Harlan Hobbs 7 years, 9 months ago

The problem with the officiating isn't necessarily that they called way too many fouls yesterday. They did, and by doing so, they controlled the flow of the game which was awful.

The problem is inconsistency. The fouls driving to the basket are mostly legitimate, although it looked like a couple of calls were "phantom fouls".

It works both ways, but when they call the minor infractions 30 feet from the basket and then let everyone get hammered underneath the basket, it gets ugly and disjointed.

As for our future prospects, if we don't get back to making a reasonable number of 3 pointers, we will be history today and eliminated quickly in the NCAA.

Bob Bailey 7 years, 9 months ago

Must be the uni designer - those saches around the waist are grotesque!

RJ King 7 years, 9 months ago

Agree. From the "Ninja Warrior Does Beach Blanket Bingo" costume department.

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